Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock

Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock

by Barney Hoskyns

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Think "Woodstock" and the mind turns to the seminal 1969 festival that crowned a seismic decade of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. But the town of Woodstock, New York, the original planned venue of the concert, is located over 60 miles from the site to which the fabled half a million flocked. Long before the landmark music festival usurped the name, Woodstock-the tiny Catskills town where Bob Dylan holed up after his infamous 1966 motorcycle accident-was already a key location in the '60s rock landscape.

In Small Town Talk, Barney Hoskyns re-creates Woodstock's community of brilliant dysfunctional musicians, scheming dealers, and opportunistic hippie capitalists drawn to the area by Dylan and his sidekicks from the Band. Central to the book's narrative is the broodingly powerful presence of Albert Grossman, manager of Dylan, the Band, Janis Joplin, Paul Butterfield, and Todd Rundgren-and the Big Daddy of a personal fiefdom in Bearsville that encompassed studios, restaurants, and his own record label. Intertwined in the story are the Woodstock experiences and associations of artists as diverse as Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Tim Hardin, Karen Dalton, and Bobby Charles (whose immortal song-portrait of Woodstock gives the book its title).

Drawing on numerous first-hand interviews with the remaining key players in the scene-and on the period when he lived there himself in the 1990s-Hoskyns has produced an East Coast companion to his bestselling L.A. canyon classic Hotel California. This is a richly absorbing study of a vital music scene in a revolutionary time and place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306823213
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 03/08/2016
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 424
Sales rank: 547,294
File size: 75 MB
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About the Author

Barney Hoskyns is a rock music historian, co-founder and editorial director of the online music-journalism library Rock's Backpages (, and author of Hotel California, Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits, and Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World's Greatest Rock Band. A former US correspondent for MOJO, Hoskyns has also contributed to Vogue, GQ, Rolling Stone, Spin, Harper's Bazaar, Uncut, as well as many other publications. He lives in London.

Table of Contents

Prologue: into the mystic 1

Rock & roll Woodstock: a guide 9

Part 1 A place i'd feel loose 11

1 The uneasy alliance 13

2 Folk songs of the catskills 23

3 Inside albert grossman 30

4 "The greatest place" 41

5 Boy in the bubble 51

6 Something is happening 59

Part 2 Going up the country 71

7 Hundred and forty dollar bash 73

8 Frankie and judas 86

9 Something to feel 93

10 Paint my mailbox blue 102

11 Everybody's apple pie 113

12 Combination of the two 120

13 Brand new days 134

14 Some way out of here 142

15 Back to the garden 150

16 He's not here 165

17 Oh lord won't you buy me a mercedes benz 179

Part 3 Dangerous fun 193

18 If you build it 195

19 The shape they're in 207

20 Music among friends 216

21 The ballad of todd and albert 230

22 "Creativity and ferment" 241

23 In a good place now 249

24 "Dope, music, and beauty" 262

25 A hermit, a true star 275

26 Tuesday night fever 291

27 Forbidden fruit 301

28 Broken heart 313

Epilogue: "how does that old song go?" 323

Coda: didn't he ramble 338

Take your pleasure: 25 timeless tracks 347

Acknowledgments 348

Bibliography 351

Notes 362

Index 381

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